How Many Characters Can Be Stored in a Field With a Short Text Data Type?


Larry Thompson

In the world of web development, it’s important to understand the limitations and capabilities of different data types when designing databases. One common data type used for storing text is the Short Text data type.

But have you ever wondered how many characters can be stored in a field with a Short Text data type? Let’s dive in and explore this topic!

Understanding Short Text Data Type

The Short Text data type, also known as Varchar (Variable Character), allows you to store alphanumeric characters within a certain limit. It’s widely used for storing short strings such as names, addresses, or titles.

The number of characters that can be stored in a field with a Short Text data type depends on the specific database management system (DBMS) being used. In general, the maximum number of characters that can be stored is determined by the length constraint set for the field.

Length Constraint

The length constraint defines the maximum number of characters that can be stored in a field. It is usually specified when creating or modifying a table’s structure.

To illustrate this, let’s consider an example where we have a table called Customers. Within this table, we have a field called Name, which has been assigned a Short Text data type with a length constraint of 50 characters.

  • We can store names like “John Doe” or “Jane Smith” within the Name field since they are well below the 50-character limit.
  • If we try to store a name like “Christopher Wellington III”, which exceeds 50 characters, an error will occur since it exceeds the length constraint.

It’s important to note that the length constraint includes all characters, including spaces and special characters. So, in the example above, each character within the name is counted towards the 50-character limit.

Choosing an Appropriate Length

When setting the length constraint for a field with a Short Text data type, it’s essential to carefully consider the nature of the data being stored. Setting it too low may result in truncation or loss of valuable information, while setting it too high may waste storage space.

To determine an appropriate length, you can analyze existing data or consider potential future needs. For example, if you are storing email addresses, you might set a length constraint of 100 characters to accommodate longer email addresses.


The Short Text data type is a versatile option for storing text in a database. The maximum number of characters that can be stored depends on the length constraint set for the field. By understanding and appropriately setting these constraints, you can ensure efficient storage and retrieval of data while avoiding truncation or loss of information.

Remember to always consider the specific requirements of your application when determining the appropriate length for Short Text fields. With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently design databases that effectively handle text data!

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